Via Xinhua: Mysterious skin disease in central Vietnam identified. Excerpt:
According to Quang Ngai provincial health department, the mysterious skin disease which left 19 dead among the province is identified.
Fourteen out of 26 blood samples from patients with a mysterious skin disease in Vietnam's central province of Quang Ngai (some 730 kilometers south of the capital Hanoi) have tested positive for the Rickettsia Virus, said Pham Hong Phuong, director of Quang Ngai provincial health department, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Wednesday.
The virus is transferred from animals to people by lice or fleas, So far, 172 people have been infected with the virus and 19 victims in the province's rural communes have been reported dead.
According to the report, the department has asked the province to provide financial assistance to equip medical facilities with blood filters and necessary medications to treat affected patients in a timely manner.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also said that it is ready to support the Vietnamese government in tackling the disease, but a WHO official said on Tuesday that the organization had not yet received any requests for support from the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.